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Covid-19 and body donation

Posted

Specializes in Perioperative / RN Circulator. Has 1 years experience.

I know that Covid-19 victims can not be organ donors (at least I think this is right.) Can their bodies be donated as anatomical cadavers for medical schools, or for Covid-19 research (though I’m not sure anything beyond a thorough autopsy would be useful?)

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

Mayo Clinic along with NY Medical schools policy is not to accept if anatomical donor has an infectious or a contagious disease. https://www.mayoclinic.org/body-donation/making-donation

Anatomical Donations - Associated Medical Schools of New York

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Conditions that may render a body unsuitable include:

•certain infectious diseases (AIDS, Hepatitis, tuberculosis)

•extensive trauma at the time of death

•advanced decomposition

•obesity or malnutrition

https://amsny.org/initiatives/anatomical-donations/

Same thing for organ transplant per UNOS and Donor Alliance:

COVID-19 is Currently a Medical Rule-out, but Exposure Does Not Prevent Future Donation

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With no existing treatment or cure, acute or active COVID-19 is currently a medical rule out for both organ and tissue donation. However, like with many other illnesses, medical science is likely to change that over time and even active coronavirus is not expected to be a rule out for donation in coming years, much like the flu.

https://www.donoralliance.org/newsroom/donation-essentials/coronavirus-covid-19-and-organ-donation-and-transplantation-information-and-resources/

https://unos.org/news/covid19/covid-19-refusal-codes-for-txc/

Silver_Rik, ASN, RN

Specializes in Perioperative / RN Circulator. Has 1 years experience.

4 hours ago, NRSKarenRN said:

Mayo Clinic along with NY Medical schools policy is not to accept if anatomical donor has an infectious or a contagious disease. https://www.mayoclinic.org/body-donation/making-donation

Anatomical Donations - Associated Medical Schools of New York

Same thing for organ transplant per UNOS and Donor Alliance:

COVID-19 is Currently a Medical Rule-out, but Exposure Does Not Prevent Future Donation

https://unos.org/news/covid19/covid-19-refusal-codes-for-txc/

Thanks. Most of that is on organ donation. Thank you for providing it, though it doesn’t quite answer my specific question.

It doesn’t seem clear whether Covid-19 is a rule out for anatomical donation. Both say certain infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, Hep B/C) are exclusionary. NY AMS criteria read as if only the specifically named diseases are rule outs, and Mayo reads like they are examples but perhaps not exhaustive.

Perhaps at this point the only thing would be to contact a donation program directly.

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

First 2 links I posted all state that anatomical cadaver donations not accepted if patient has an infectious or a contagious disease.Coronavirus would be included under both infectious and contagious categories.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

We are doing active research at my hospital. I do not believe entire bodies are being kept, but I do believe samples are.